[uh-tahyuh r]

verb (used with object), at·tired, at·tir·ing.

to dress, array, or adorn, especially for special occasions, ceremonials, etc.


clothes or apparel, especially rich or splendid garments.
the horns of a deer.

Origin of attire

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English atiren < Anglo-French atirer, Old French atirier, verbal derivative of a tire into a row or rank (see a-3, tier1); (noun) Middle English atir < Anglo-French, noun derivative of the v.
Related formsre·at·tire, verb (used with object), re·at·tired, re·at·tir·ing.un·at·tired, adjectivewell-at·tired, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for attire

Contemporary Examples of attire

Historical Examples of attire

  • If her morning attire had seemed over-splendid, what shall I say of her appearance now?

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • The most carping could have found no flaw in the quiet taste of his attire.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • A hardy old soldier, I should judge, from his feature and attire.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • They attire themselves with care, they braid the garland, and they tune the pipe.


    William Godwin

  • The oddity and incongruity of her attire attracted attention.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for attire



(tr) to dress, esp in fine elegant clothes; array


clothes or garments, esp if fine or decorative
the antlers of a mature male deer

Word Origin for attire

C13: from Old French atirier to put in order, from tire row; see tier 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for attire

c.1300, "to fit out, equip; to dress in finery, to adorn," from Old French atirier "to equip, ready, prepare," from a- "to" + tire "order, row, dress" (see tier). Related: Attired; attiring.


c.1300, "equipment of a man-at-arms; fine apparel," from attire (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper